From the Desk of Bishop W.R. Bowles - elcsa-cod

From the Desk of Bishop W.R. Bowles
(Cape-Orange Diocese: ELCSA)
22 December 2014
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
I greet you with the Doctrinal Text in our ELCSA Almanac, for Sunday 4th Advent.
“Grace and peace to you from Him, who is and who was and who is to come, and
from the seven spirits before His throne.” (Rev. 1:4) With this greeting the Apostle
John is addressing the seven congregations in the province of Asia. These were the
seven principal stations where the Word of God had taken hold of and a summary of
the conditions of which the whole Christian Church would be experiencing
everlasting. If we read the pastoral letters in Revelations to the seven congregations,
we discover many similarities to our plight today.
Grace is the free favour and love which the sinner has in the message of
redemption. Peace is the effect of Grace which follows the reconciliation of the
sinner with God, as in Rom. 5:1, the peace of God which surpasses all
understanding be with you. This is the blessing of Jehova, of Him that is from
everlasting to everlasting. When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the birth of
Jesus Christ the Son of God. He is the baby that was born in Bethlehem to save the
world from its sins, so that the effect of God’s grace and peace could be felt
throughout this world.
Today Christmas has become a worldly festival. We do a lot of things that is not what
Christmas is supposed to be associated with. CHRISTMAS IS AND SHOULD BE A
CHRIST-FESTIVAL. At Christmas we thank God for giving us Jesus Christ – His
Only Begotten Son; The Prince of Peace. Through Him we receive Grace (2 Cor.
12:9). We think of the Christians persecuted in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and other parts of
the world. We think of those infected with the Ebola virus; we think of those that are
hungry and poor, displaced from their countries of birth; imprisoned and in hospitals;
we think of the sick and elderly, the homeless; etc.
have faith and be faithful. Let us all in Cape-Orange Diocese (ELCSA) – Parishes &
Congregations, as well as families – live in the way that Christ wants from us.
Grace and peace to you; and a Very Merry Christmas to everybody; have a blessed
Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year 2015.
The Right Reverend Bishop W.R. Bowles
Bishop: ELCSA- COD